Anecdotes of Republican women defecting from the party have been floating around since Donald Trump’s candidacy was announced, and polls have consistently shown him losing college-educated women voters to Clinton by a historically wide margin. But last week, the release of his 2005 “locker room” comments — in which he brags about sexual assault and says he can “grab [women] by the pussy” with impunity — brought the issue of Trump’s sexism to a head.
Although prominent Republicans have since called his behavior things like “indefensible” and have professed to be “sickened” and “offended” by it, others have written it off completely, and the majority of his support remains intact. And although a subtler form of sexism is (and has always been) a default tenet of the Republican Party, GOP women are outraged at their party’s refusal to condemn Trump’s much more obvious brand of misogyny.
One woman summed things up nicely with a Twitter rant:
A new poll by the Public Religion Research Institute and The Atlantic shows the gender gap between candidates has only widened over time; as of this month, just 28 percent of female voters say they’d vote for Trump if the election were held today, compared to 61 percent who’d vote for Clinton. For those of you keeping track at home, that’s a 33-point margin — the widest in any presidential election. (Among male voters, the numbers are almost reversed.)
You’d think all this would be a red flag for Trump, but no — he’d rather talk about “much more important … and much bigger things” than the sexist comments that could lose him the election.